CBC Radio One‘s Day 6 did an investigation this week to find out why things still cost more in Canada than the US.
It boils down to our standard of living. We have higher minimum wages, we have better benefits and we are a separate country from the US (meaning different import duties).
They also point to different economies of scale, meaning that because of our smaller population size, retailers don’t have the same bulk buying power as they do in the states. Also, our labelling laws (things need to be in french AND english) add costs to producers.
I still don’t buy (all) of the excuses. One example in the show, the price of cars, points to the fact that the laws of supply and demand and consumer preference show that Canadians are just willing to pay more for their vehicles. That’s something to remember when you’re next buying a car – nail the dealer down hard, they’ve artificially inflated the prices vis a vis the currency exchange and cost.
If you’re puzzled as to why things (still) cost more in Canada despite our surgingly strong dollar, have a listen to the show. (The segment is about 23 minutes into the program).